Condition of Car:
Classic Car Sale Status:
EX FORD LOTUS CORTINA KPU 380C
This is a very rare opportunity to secure one of the original ex-Ford competition rally Lotus Cortina, with continuous history from new and in its original 1966 specification. We are delighted to be able to offer it for sale on behalf of the current owner.
History Of KPU 380C - The Car was built at Dagenham and Cheshunt as a standard road car in Feb 1965. In keeping with Ford’s rallying colours of the time, the car was painted in Monaco Red, one of the very few red Lotus Cortinas produced. It was delivered to Boreham along with 6 others. They were modified for rallying in Group 2, with two of the cars set aside for testing and setup trials. In June 65, the cars were registered and started their shakedown period on road trials and in the more punishing environment of the Bagshot proving ground. As the red car, KPU 380C was entered in the 1965 French Alpine in July and the RAC Rally in November, with both events driven by David Seigle-Morris. At the end of the 65/66 season, the car was rebuilt with a new shell in the white / green flash livery. It was entered in the 1966 French Alpine in October and the RAC Rally in November, with both events being driven by Vic Elford. In December, KPU 380C had it’s last rally as a Ford Works car, entering the Welsh Rally driven by Brian Melia. Whist at Ford the car was used in a photo-shoot at Snetterton, publicising Jim Clark’s entry into the 1966 RAC Rally in another works Lotus Cortina. KPU380C and KPU 385C were used extensively by Jim Clark being tutored by Roger Clark and Brian Melia in the lead up to the 1966 RAC.
Ford Sells The Mk1 Lotus Cortinas.- KPU 380C was sold to Clarke and Simpson in 67, when it was entered into the Circuit of Ireland with the Gibbs / Morgan crew. It was re-shelled in this period by Clarke and Simpson, and the next appearance of the car known was on the 1968 Fosse Way Motor Club Safari Rally, but now it looked like a more standard Lotus Cortina, with the Minilites replace by steels and the black bonnet and side stripes now gone. Clarke and Simpson then sold KPU 380c onto a private owner. The car went though 4 private owners over the following 12 years before being bought by Jeff Fenton in 1981 as a restoration project. Jeff had seen the car for sale at a car dealership in Southport in 1980 for £1000, but he was looking for a project at the time so didn’t buy it. After an accident early in 1981, KPU380C was now a project!
Jeff had soon made contact with two others who were restoring KPU rally cars. Two of the guys, including Jeff, went on to run the Lotus Cortina Register, and for much of the 1980s and the 1990s, there was considerable enthusiasm for and knowledge accumulated for these cars. The guys at Boreham were soon helping with the specification of the rally cars and the history, and during the 1980s, KPU 380C, KPU 381C and KPU 383C were restored. KPU381C is still owned by the family of the chap who restored it, and KPU 383C was sold into the Tom Walkinshaw collection and subsequently sold to a private collector in Japan. KPU 380C was restored by Jeff to standard road going condition, and he enjoyed using the car until 1986, when the car was sold to Richard Down.Richard prepared the car back to its full Gp2 specification as it is today, and with his son Andrew, campaigned the car in club rally events. An article was written about the car in ‘Your Classic’ magazine in February 1992, where it was given a glowing report, with the suggestion that it could be worth ‘up to £90,000’.
The car was sold in 1997 since when it has been used regularly by 3 different private owners. It was brought down to Brands Hatch in 2013 for the 50th anniversary celebration of the Lotus Cortina, where it drew a constant stream of fellow Lotus Cortina owners to examine what an original Gp 2 ex-Works Lotus Cortina rally car looked like.
Current Condition and Specification - The car is still in its group 2 specification and is as featured in the Works Cortina, Corsair and Capri book of which it features on the front cover. The car starts runs and drives as it should. There are a few minor marks on the bodywork which ad to its character but nothing unsightly. In addition to the car we have a current V5, old V5s, old MOTs, details of all previous owners, the original buff log book showing Ford as the original owner and also originally Red which was subsequently amended to white / green. There are numerous photos of it over the years, letters from one of the old co drivers, letters from previous owners, signed pics by Vic Elford, pictures of Jim Clark standing next to it and more. Viewing is by appointment only. Shipping can be arranged Worldwide if required upon receipt of cleared funds. Any questions please ask or call us on 07879 557668